Mr. McDonald to Mr. Olney.

No. 239, Dip. Ser.]

Sir: I am glad to be able to send a denial of the alleged horrible massacre of Armenians and Jews at Van, reported in my No. 235 by ——— ———, of ———. From the same source I am now informed that the report was a huge exaggeration, and has dwindled from 22,000 to four! Perhaps this is a sample of the truth of other like rumors.

Herewith I also beg to send a translation of a copy of a note from the Sadr Azem on the same subject, omitted inadvertently from my No. 235.

I have, etc.,

Alex. McDonald.
[Inclosure 1 in No. 239.]

Mr. ——— to Mr. McDonald.

Dear Sir: I reported last week that it seemed established that a massacre had taken place in Van. Now what seems to be reliable word has come that only a few men were killed—2 Moslems and 2 Armenians. The Government prevented any general encounter. The roads are now open again, and one caravan has come in to the old city of Salmos. I am much gratified to know there has no massacre taken place. After the Van caravan came in the excitement here died down somewhat, but the suspense is still agonizing. The people are in terror, and the expectation is that any day the Kurds may make a descent on the Christian villages. By all means a force of Persian soldiers should [Page 473] be located here on the plain until matters quiet down. The awful suspense would thus be relieved somewhat and the people be able to go about their business.

A soldier (Persian) who has just come from Khoi says the Armenians of Kotur (some forty families) are being plundered by the Kurds, their neighbors.

Yours, in haste,

——— ———.
[Inclosure 2 in No. 239.—Translation.]

The Sadr Azem to Mr. McDonald.

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your excellency’s letter of the 3d of Zeekadeh (17th April), inclosing translations of two letters from Mr. ——— concerning events on the Kurdistan frontier. I have to thank you for the trouble you have taken in sending me information of such great importance and interest.

Orders and instructions were immediately telegraphed to the authorities. I hope that the frontier regions of Persian territory will continue peaceful and free from disquieting ideas.

I take this opportunity, etc.,

Seal of the Sadr Azem